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Buddy Dughi (review)

The Rockits

rockitsThe Rockits – The Rockits

Award Records ‎– SH-1001 [1988]
Cruisin’ All Night – TwoTimin’ Baby – Stood Up

Formed in the mid-80’s The Rockits, previously known as the Top Cats, were a neo-rockabilly band heavily influenced by the earlier cat bands such as Stray Cats and Polecats. They were Buddy Dughi(Vocals/Lead Guitarist), Pete Bonny (drums), and Steve Herney (double-bass). This is their sole release, a three-song ep in pink, and black vinyl.
It contains two Buddy Dughi originals, “Cruisin’ All Night” and “TwoTimin’ Baby”, along with their tribute to Ricky Nelson, “Stood Up.” Dughi and Bonny later founded the Hot Rod Trio and Suzy Q & Her Be-Bop Boys.

Hot Rod Trio

Hot Rod Trio - Live!
Hot Rod Trio – Live!

Hot Rod Trio- Live !

Golly Gee Records GGR 1045
Hot Rod Model A – Long Blonde Hair – Here Comes That Train – Hop, Skip, Jump – Cat On The Loose – 32 – Hot Rod Heaven -Baby Don’t Rock – One Gone Cat – What If – Demon’s Got A Motorcycle – Hot Dog – Let’s Bop – Don’t Boss Me Baby – Tear It Up – Folsom Prison Blues – Boppin The Blues – Crazy Baby
The Hot Rod Trio is a Californian modern rockabilly band consisting of Buddy Dughi on guitar, Suzy Dughi on slap bass and Pete Bonny on drums. Both Suzy and Buddy sing. They have released 2 studio albums to date and have been playing their brand of high octane rockabilly since 1991. This live album of 18 tracks is a good way to hear how they sound on stage. You can definitely find a Setzer/Stray Cats influence in their music, not exactly the sound, Buddy’s voice is more rockabilly with hiccups and tremoloes, but in the general feel and the way to approach the genre. The set is a mix of classic covers (Johnny Cash, Johnny Powers, Collins Kid, Carl Perkins…), played with enough personality to be more than reproduction. Buddy plays great solos and make ‘em his own.The band’s self-penned songs stand well among the classics. I really loved “32” and “Demon’s Got A Motorcycle” on which Buddy’s guitar roars like an engine. If you like Brian Setzer’s 68 Comeback Special or The Reverend Horton Heat, you won’t be disappointed with this one.
Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Buddy Dughi

Buddy Dughi - Rev It Up
Buddy Dughi – Rev It Up

Buddy Dughi – Rev It Up

Golly Gee Records GGR 1050
Velvet Collar, Iron Fist – Let’s Go For A Spin – Metal Flake Coupe – Hot Rod Hell – Love My Gretsch – Suicide Ride – Hot Rod’s and Harleys – Vampire Girl – Demon’s Got A Motorcycle – Rev It Up!

Do you remember when rock’n’roll was still synonym of “wild” or “restless”. This is what this album is. Ten songs written by Buddy and talking mostly about hot rods, cars, motorcycles with Rip Carson on bass and drummer extraordinaire Craig Packham. The opening track has a kind of stripper music feel in it ala Las Vegas Grind with hot and threatening sax by Archie Thompson. The sax is a really nice addition and on “Hot Rod Hell” you’d swear you hear a engine roar. Fantastic. Thompson also appears on piano on the Chuck Berry inspired rocker “Metal Flake Coupe” bringing some Jonnie Johnson licks. You also have some songs on the psychobilly edge like “Demon’s Got A Motorcycle”, the kind of tune with one thing in mind “Take no prisoner!” if you see what I mean. After the almost punk “Suicide Ride”, “Hot Rod & Harleys” adds some change in the pace. Buddy is always at ease on guitar whatever the style he plays, a wild distorded growl or a clean sounding style on more “traditional” rockabilly tunes like “Let’s Go For A Spin” and “Love My Grestch” where his hiccupy vocal is perfect. Climb aboard and take a ride with Buddy…

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Buddy Dughi plays Hot Rod Surf
Buddy Dughi plays Hot Rod Surf

Buddy Dughi plays Hot Rod Surf

Golly Gee Records GGR 1038
Tiki Head Shift Knob – Fireball – Mag-Neato – Good Humor – Pipeline – Lonely Gasser – El Gato – 40 Miles of Bad Road – Devil’s Octane – Head Hunter
When Deke Dickerson writes some good of another guitarist it is that the latter should not be completely bad! This colleague guitarist has a name, Buddy Dughi and he officiates in the rockabilly “Hot Rod Trio” with his wife Suzie (also present at the bass on this album) and Pete Bonny. Buddy, for his crossbred surfing of rock’n’roll’ roll and rockabilly likes to use guitars and amp from Fender which seems to be his sponsor!! (Buddy specifies on the liner notes and on his website that Fender Jaguar doubles neck guitar and Standel 25LIS amp with Fender Reverb tank has been used on almost all tracks)
All this beautiful stuff between the hands of a drudge would be like throwing pearls before swine but not in the Buddy’s case! These 10 tracks (for an entirely instrumental album that seems to me sufficient) are enough original not to be another so- and- so surf album Moreover the three covers “Fireball” from the same name band the stainless Chantays’ “Pipeline”and the Duane Eddy “40 Miles Of Bad Road” has sustained radical treatments for example the Duane’s cover has become a rockabilly. The self-penned Buddys are typical (“Tiki Head Shift Knob” is a prototype of surf music) melodic (“Mag Neato”) twistin’ (“Good Humor”) melancholic (“Lonely Grasser”), full with movement (“El Gato”) powerful (“Devil’ s Octane”) or tribal (“Head Hunter”)… In a word an album with a lot of variety where one did not expect such an amount of it!!!
Dave “Long Tall” Phisel